Daily celebrity gossip pamphlet The Sun has published a highly dubious story about a pub landlord in Barnsley who claims he was told by council officials to remove his Union Jack jacket in case it offended someone.

Jason Mawer (pictured above) was bought the jacket, which is in the style of those worn by one of his favourite bands The Who, for his 40th birthday by his girlfriend. But he says he was told to take it off twice in public by unidentified people he refers to as ‘council enforcement officers‘.

Despite there being no evidence of who these people might be other than Mr Mawer’s hunch that they were enforcement officers, and no attempts whatsoever to actually make him remove the coat, The Sun ran the story with the headline JOBSWORTHS BAN WHO FAN’S ‘OFFENSIVE’ UNION JACK JACKET.

The paper mentions that Barnsley Council have no record of this incident occurring, although this is put in the last line of the article.

Mr Mawer seems to have the impression that these two mysterious people were council employees on account of one of them wearing a hi-viz jacket, despite no ID being shown at any point. On both occasions he says he was asked to remove the jacket in case it offended somebody. On both occasions he refused and no action was taken.

Mr Mawer mentions in the article that he is proudly patriotic and that his pub is decorated with St George flags, which is perfectly acceptable. What is slightly more concerning is that one of the groups he is linked to on his Facebook profile is Knights Templar International, a religious offshoot of the far-right group Britain First.

So a pub landlord with some questionable nationalist tendencies contacts Britain’s biggest selling daily newspaper with a flimsy story about being asked to take his jacket off. Not only does it get printed but the headline exaggerates the request into a ‘ban‘.

As pathetic as it all sounds, it’s a story that fits the right-wing tabloid narrative – decent law-abiding Brits being told they can’t do something British (usually related to a flag or Christmas) by some interfering PC busy-body (usually related to the EU, left-wingers or Muslims) – and appears with depressing regularity, despite seldom having any basis in fact.

But these papers know that if you repeat this misinformation and outright lies enough times, people will come to accept it as the truth. So you end up with thousands of Sun, Mail and Express readers who genuinely believe that you can’t so much as say you like anything British without the Big Brother state coming down on you like a ton of bricks.

Original Sun article available here.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.



  1. I know the couple who run this pub and to the right they are certainly not, socialists rather. The fact the pub celebrates ‘britishness’ is incidental, with the emphasis more on barnsley football club with much memorabilia. What the lad should have done is ask the said individuals for identification, but of course hindsight is a wonderful thing. There was no agenda here but it appears that certain far right groups have employed this story for propaganda purposes. It is evident however that the couple concerned are disappointed with this and have publicly stated so. I must conclude that i err to the left but have no doubt through knowing these people that this story is genuine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BethJ says:

      Okay, whatever you say but anyone who knows what Britain First is and it’s history will know that mural on the side of the pub is a dead giveaway. Ever been to East Belfast?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ken S says:

        The mural on the side of the pub is from a set Commemorating the Great War.. WW1.. it has nothing whatever to do with the wall art you mentioned in East Belfast. I’m from East Belfast and indeed you might have seen it there as this year is 100 years since the battle of the Somme which has special significance in Ulster.


      2. It’s a standard remembrance mural/image used by the Royal British Legion and veterans (Help for Heros) groups. It’s no more sinister that the Flag of St George or the Poppy Emblem. It’s not sinister or offensive in any way!


    2. That’s unfortunate that his story’s been twisted, but that’s what happens when you go to these papers unfortunately. They should have thought more carefully before going to the press with such a flimsy story. If actual council officers with ID has actually made him take a coat off, this would have been worth reporting. But if he was just asked to remove it by unidentifiable people who did nothing when he refused – that’s not a story worth reporting. What did they think was gonna happen when the rightwing press got hold of it? I’m also a bit concerned that a ‘socialist’ would be a member of the Knights Templar International Facebook group.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. harry james- I’m having trouble thinking of an innocent motive for going to the press with this, if the story is genuine (as in- he was asked to remove it by people he genuinely thought were council workers). If he’s a leftist as you say, it seems odd that he would want to go for the ‘political correctness gone mad’ angle which is the only way this could have been a story at all. I’m a leftist and if someone told me to remove a union flag decorated item I was wearing in case it offended somebody my response would be to 1. say ‘I think I’ll risk it as I’m sure you know as well as I do that stories about people being offended by British flags are pretty much all fabricted’, and 2. not go to the press with it.


    1. Well my ‘thesis’ if there is one is that right-wing tabloids greatly exaggerate and fabricate on these issues. Do you have compelling evidence to convince me otherwise? I’d say that the Sun stating in the headline that jobsworths banned the guy from wearing his coat is clear evidence of bullshit. Most of the article is pointing out the holes in the original story. Feel free to let me know which bits you think are made up.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The burden of proof in this case is on the accuser: He has accused two people from ‘the council’ of stopping him in the street and asking him to remove his jacket. He hasn’t provided any names, dates, times or specific places where these incidents are supposed to have occurred. There is no CCTV evidence. There are no witnesses. He’s made no official complaint to the council. He never asked for the names, or ID of the people he says stopped him. The council have denied it happened. They have no record of it and no record of complaints against any individuals employed by them. Yet this ‘man’ was so offended by this happening – not just once, but twice – his first action was to run to various media outlets to express his indignation. And mention his pub. And have his picture taken. Etc…

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Lyndsey smith says:

    I am the landlady of the pub ….. for one we did not contact the national press ….. i contacted my local newspaper through the editor who i used to work for as a former journalist myself ….. two yes we are a highly patriotic pub but very far from been racist ….. jason lived in a muslim country for eight years and has muslim friends on his facebook and we have already refused photographs and interviews with britain first as well as denying publication of an article to a website linked to the british national party ….. three to the person who says myself and jason are pictured on our profiles doing nazi salutes …. total fantasy …. one he cannot see our profiles and two this is not something we would do ….. we are not liars we were simply disappointed that this incident happened ……. if anyone doubts this please feel free to contact me in person ……..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lyndsey, if you were a journalist at the local paper then you should have realised that the tabloid press and others would be likely to quickly seize on the story and twist it. Sorry if it’s brought the two of you unwanted attention but you’ve brought it on yourselves really. I don’t understand why you went to the press just because some unidentifiable person asked Jason to remove his coat, if no ID was shown and nothing was enforced. Now Jason looks like he’s fabricated the story himself. And if you’re so against Britain First, why is Jason a member of the Knights Templar International Facebook group? They’re pretty much the ‘religious’ arm of BF.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep digging chap, you can shore up this non article with more irrelevant information. Being in a Facebook Group is not yet a crime (probably soon will be) and clicking a Like button is not the same as getting a mortgage! I have liked all sorts of groups and pages that hold little or no interest to me. People can also add the unwary into groups without permission and friends and family send requests all the time for a multitude of different groups. You are just assuming you know, makes you just a guilty as anyone else. Get out of the ivory tower and perhaps write an article with some real meat and not one that panders to your own bigotry.


      2. Who says being in a Facebook group is a crime? People can join whatever groups they want as far as I’m concerned. But if you go to the press with a bit of a flimsy story and that press then twists the story to suit their own ends, you can hardly bitch and whine if people ask a couple of questions about you. As I said before, they’re free to answer the questions put to them if they wish but nothing so far. But my problem is not with them, it’s with the Sun and the bullshit way it reported the story.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Nigel Anderson says:

        There were 2 more photo’s on his facebook page that have since been removed including a picture dressed as Hitler including wearing a swastika and one of a blonde very much matching his girlfriends picture with a swastika arm band above her head.
        These may have been removed but I know others have shared the pictures elsewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Jamie Davis says:

      A quick skim of Lyndsey’s “likes” also reveals not only that she too is a fan of the “Knights Templar” page, but also supports the far-right “British People’s Party” which had links to Combat 18.

      Pull the other one Lyndsey, it’s got bells on. You’re full of shit, love.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. No, surely not?

    You’ll be telling me next that Princess Diana really did die in an unfortunate accident, the McCann’s are just a bit forgetful and Muslim immigrants are quite nice once you get to know them.


  4. Maybe the offence that the people were referring to (assuming it happened) had nothing to do with Britishness. Maybe they were just ordinary members of the public upset at seeing somebody dressed as a man who, by his own admission, had images of child abuse on his computer. Just a thought.


  5. Hamish says:

    You make a number of serious allegations in your story and I can not see who you contacted before making them.
    It would appear that you have taken the supposition that the events did not happen. That indeed maybe the case but that is not entirely borne out by the facts as we know them.
    Then council has not denied the events happened only that it has no record of such an event occurring. That is, as I hope you agreed, quite a big gap.
    You make mention that the council quote comes in at the end.
    But did you speak to the council? Or the newspaper? Or the journalist? Or the landlord?
    There is nothing wrong with criticising newspapers but when you do, shouldn’t you adopt the same standards that you hold so high?
    I also find it a remarkable that when the partner of the man contacts you to deny your suggestion that they are connected to the far right and take issue with some of your points, you criticise them!
    Now imagine if a tabloid reporter had done that, you would, rightly, have a field day.


    1. I’m not saying the events did not happen. I’m saying there is no evidence that the people involved were council officers. The headline that jobsworths have banned him from wearing the coat is complete crap. My issue is with the paper for the way they’ve spun the story – I just think the couple were silly to take it to the press and it sounds as if they’re regretting it now it’s got out of hand. Barnsley Council have responded on their Twitter feed here:

      I don’t think I was unfairly critical in my response to his partner and I haven’t called them racist, just questioned his belonging to a Facebook group. Of course, they may have had no idea of the links of that group to Britain First and they are totally free to argue that case. If I were a tabloid reporter, I probably would have run with a headline ‘Britain First Supporter Lies About Council To The Sun’ 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To be fair, what was the point in going to the press, be it The Sun or the local rag? Saying “Sorry if it’s brought the two of you unwanted attention but you’ve brought it on yourself” is a reasonable response to anyone going to the papers with any story.

        And again if someone says they’re not right wing, it’s a reasonable criticism to ask why there’s links and associations.

        Sure any reasonable non-right wing folk would respond with “we didn’t know Knights Templar were right wing and associated with Britain First” and remove themselves from association immediately.

        Not sure how you explain the Nazi photo though. That’s a little tougher.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Nigel Anderson says:

    Living in Barnsley I know the council have no authority to ask people to take an item of clothing off. If it was under the public offence act it would be down to the police to ask the person to remove the article of clothing.
    The pub is known to having the local far right group drinking in there. I can not say it did not happen but I can say I find it very hard to believe it happened. Our town displays the Union Flag up high over the town hall, several shops fly the flag also. You can buy Union flag items on the outdoor market and wear them round town an no one batters an eyelid.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think that the most amusing part of this non-story is that it gives this writer the opportunity to correctly refer to The Sun as a pamphlet. It suggests that not much gets past the eagle eye of a Sun pamphleteer.

    As for the jacket itself, it certainly looks filthy as Lin Peters suggests, but not only that, it looks as dated and unfashionable as one might expect. Pete Townsend looked much better as he had his made in the design of a normal casual jacket not this style at all, and it was 1970 or thereabouts. The style being worn by the pub landlord is more in the style of that other great leader of goodness knows what, David Hasselhoff. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A made up article lampooning the Sun based on a made up story (neither confirmed or denied) that trots out the usual anti right wing diatribe. Anyone else see the irony of this left bias article using a non article to ramp up the negative stereotyping by using negative stereotypes in a negative way!


      1. I think it’s part of the sad game where miss information and lack of honesty destroys faith in the news. The Guardian & The BBC both having agendas which are as bad as some of the other news titles. The irony for me is the smug way the left lampoons the right failing to see the same distortion of the news from its preferred supplier!


      2. Yeah I did mention afterwards on the facebook page that some ‘lefty’ papers covered it too. I was meaning if you see any different articles on different subjects, I’ll always happily cover stuff be it left, right or somewhere in between.


    1. The thing is, its been picked up all over the shop. More a reflection on the terrible state of journalism in the UK.
      Btw, the sun and others could have done some research and debunked a sad racist and his wife for trying to stir up sh!t.

      I live in hope :0


  9. PJ says:

    The jacket is “in the style of those worn by one of his favourite bands The Who”? Well, only in as much as it has a Union Flag on it. The actual jacket itself is nothing fucking like the one worn by Pete Townshend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PJ says:

      No need. Facts are facts. So there’s nothing to comment on there. I am, however, sharing the link to this website’s page with other people, in particular the one who I saw sharing it on a social media page.


  10. Commie Hunter says:

    Lets see some of the shit muslims make up and gobbled up by the marxist press recently like the Hijabi who claimed she was hit by “racist” but was prosecuted fir wasting police time etc. when the cctv was investigated. Nah nothing not a fucking jot from you…..


  11. […] The Sun is the king of this brand of substance-less journalism. Many of its articles are just a string of poorly written sound-bite sentences designed to whip its readers up into a frenzy about nothing. Two good examples are articles from this year about supermarkets supposedly banning Easter eggs and about a council supposedly banning a man from wearing a Union Flag jacket. […]


  12. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I am having problems with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!|


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